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external hard drive failure

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andygolfer
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external hard drive failure

Post by andygolfer » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:56 am

not exactly photography but my external hard drive appears to have failed taking with it all my 'straight from the camera' photos.
It started squeaking 2 evenings ago and this morning was only showing some images and then the PC stopped recognising it altogether. I'm assuming it'd knackered.

I use it for my initial download of photos and being a 2TB one it's got everything from 2015 including non aviation stuff - the lot! It's got nothing but photos on it which in a way is fortunate.

My method is
1: to download onto the external HD
2: then do the editing and saving at full size to the same HD,
3: when I have completed the set I then copy them at a reduced size (usually 1600px wide) onto my PC internal hard drive thus ensuring I have a back up on a separate device - Whew!
4: Then I upload a selection to Flickr (and sometimes reduced size to FB as well) thus they are stored in cyberspace.
5: every few months I back up my PC hard drive onto ANOTHER external HD which is stored in my garage away from the house - in case of fire etc (I thought I was covering all eventualities).

Now to me (until this morning) that all seemed very thorough BUT I now only have copies of those that I have actually edited (or got round to editing) so there are thousands that I've never edited but kept in case I need them (and at present I'm doing a project that does indeed need many of them and I've lost all of that as I hadn't got to the stage of backing that up to my PC - damn!). There's also many holiday pics that I haven't yet done as well so another pain.

so - anybody know if there's a way of recovering the data from a failed external hard drive please or is it lost forever - please tell me it isn't but I fear it is.

One lesson I've learnt now is don't buy one large external HD but go for smaller ones so the damage will be limited if it happens again.

The ext HD is just sitting there bleeping at me every 2 or 3 seconds. When I unplug it and plug it back the PC bleeps so it knows something is happening but it doesn't show up at all.
Not a good start to the day :grr:

any help gratefully received.
Andy
Andygolfer (or at least I was once), now just plane crazy

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PorkScratching
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Re: external hard drive failure

Post by PorkScratching » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:28 am

It sounds very much as though there is a mechanical failure within the hard drive. Unplug it now to limit any further damage. Most (if not all) the data can often be recovered by a specialist company (you need a clean room, specialist hardware and software to do so). This costs in the order of several hundred Pounds, but sounds like it may be worth it for your situation. Kroll Ontrack (https://www.ontrack.com) have a very good reputation, although they may not be the cheapest.
andygolfer wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:56 am
One lesson I've learnt now is don't buy one large external HD but go for smaller ones so the damage will be limited if it happens again.
I would not recommend using multiple drives in this way - the more you have, the more likely you are to suffer a failure, and it makes administering it all far more difficult (so more likely a mistake will occur, or something won't get done).

I suggest the following setup:

1. Copy all images off the camera cards to a hard drive (ideally a hard drive within a desktop, but not everybody has a desktop). This is your primary working copy.
2. Copy all images off the camera cards to an external hard drive connected to the main PC. This is your immediately available full backup. Can be done either directly from the cards, or from the copies made in step 1. Consider disconnecting it when not copying to it, to help prevent its contents from being encrypted if you suffer a ransomware infection.
3. Make at least one offsite backup. This could be an external hard drive that is kept in the shed, the in-laws, at work etc. Obviously not always practical to update it every time you have new shots, but perhaps aim to do so every month or so. An alternative (or addition) is an online backup (I use AWS S3).

Obviously ensure the above also covers your edited copies too.

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andygolfer
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Location: Rayne Essex - 12 miles east of Stansted

Re: external hard drive failure

Post by andygolfer » Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:14 pm

I only have one connected at a time Nick except when doing the backup, what l meant was go for a smaller ext HD and get a new one every year say so that if l get a failure l don't use as much. At least it happened before my Canadian trip. Thanks for the link, will look at that tonight when I get home from planning appeal
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All right... all right... but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order... what have the Romans done for us?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rKYL0tW-Ek

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PorkScratching
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Re: external hard drive failure

Post by PorkScratching » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:46 pm

andygolfer wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:14 pm
I only have one connected at a time Nick except when doing the backup, what l meant was go for a smaller ext HD and get a new one every year say so that if l get a failure l don't use as much.
What I wrote still applies: with multiple hard drives you will increase the chance of one failing, and it's more difficult to administer, so you risk making a mistake, or putting off backing up.

Obviously my solution proposes multiple hard drives, but there's good reason for that: each one is serving a particular purpose (one for main work drive, one for primary local backup, and one for offsite backup). By definition, those need to be separate hard drives.

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